MAXVILLE — Former provincial agriculture minister Noble Villeneuve died in Maxville on Feb. 28 at the age of 79.
Villeneuve was born and raised on the family farm on Dyer Road at Moose Creek. He worked as a farmer and real estate appraiser after graduating high school and was first vice-president of the Ontario Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
He was first elected to the Ontario legislature as a PC candidate in 1983 in the riding of Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry.
He was Minister of Agriculture from 1995 to 1999.
Many took to Twitter to mourn Villeneuve, saying he was a powerful voice for Eastern Ontario farmers.
“Ontario has lost a wonderful public servant in MPP Noble Villeneuve,” tweeted North Dundas mayor Eric Duncan. “Smart, hardworking, down to earth and great orator. He did so much to make rural Ontario a better place to live, work and raise a family. Thoughts are with Villeneuve family as we remember a life well lived. RIP Noble.”
Former Canadian foreign minister John Baird tweeted “I was honoured to serve with Noble Villeneuve at Queen’s Park. He was a gentlemen and a real fighter for rural Ontario. Delivered big time for farmers and brought equality to francophone education funding. RIP Noble.”
He is survived by his wife, Elaine, and his five children Darlene MacGregor, Micheline Sabourin, Brian Villeneuve, Diane Kell and Roxane Villeneuve.